Beneath the streets in 110km of subterranean cellars, more than 200 million bottles of Champagne, just waiting to be popped open on some sparkling occasion, are being aged. Explore Champagne holidays and discover the best time and places to visit. I spend most of my time living and working abroad and use this website to share "the good, the bad and the ugly" of traveling and living abroad. There are several beautiful towns around the Champagne region, but if you are visiting for the first time, or desire more options for after-tasting activities, it’s best to stay in the main city of Reims (pronounced Rans in French). Read the Fodor's reviews, or … It really is a beautiful part of France! You can find Maison Ruinart in Epernay on the Avenue de Champagne. Visit these little known treasures in the Champagne-Ardennes Region; you'll be delightfully surprised by them like the chateau where the writer Voltaire lived with his lover, Emilie du Châtelet. When is the best time to visit Champagne? I would recommend visiting Champagne between May to October. Champagne Salmon is another great option. Therefore visiting this one, simply because it’s the oldest, is worth it as well. Visit the vineyards which produce the most prestigious wines in the world. Visiting Champagne growers and houses can be notoriously difficult, since most aren’t open like cellar doors in other regions. Larger brands, by contrast, tend to welcome visitors solely to their cellars, where the bottles are stored. Among the highlights is a massive 16-tonne oak-beam grape press from 1630. Stay in Reims to explore the Montagne de Reims, which focuses on pinot noir. With this in mind, visiting Champagne France, for many, is like taking a pilgrimage to this unique place where dreams are made. The Pinot Noir dominates the landscape. Fr En Discover all the best the Champagne Region has to offer; the grapes, the soil, the winegrowers, wineries and ofcourse the best Champagne Houses to visit. Tip: it’s worth checking out Airbnb for accommodation as well, especially if you are on a budget or want more space than a hotel room. And if you have any questions, just leave a comment below. Côte de Sézanne. Small Champagne Houses, wineries and winegrowers can be found in this small part of the Champagne Region. All champagne houses offer their tours by appointment, so booking ahead is your best option. Book a wine Tour and Champagne Tasting in the Côte des Bar. Call ahead or book online. Before you visit any champagne house, check their opening hours. The tourist office rents out audio guides for self-paced tours. Before visiting the Champagne Region, we advise you to book a Champagne Tour & Tasting in advance because availabilities are often limited. With the smaller producers, the entire process takes place onsite, so you can see the journey from grape to bottle. I have stayed in both Reims and Epernay and really enjoyed both. Only sparkling wines that are from the region of Champagne are allowed to be called “Champagne AOC”. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links, at no additional cost to you. If you choose to stay in Epernay, check out Au Moulin Champenois as a budget-friendly hotel option. Visit the About Me page for more info. I may receive a commission for purchases made through these links, at no additional cost to you. ☞ READ MORE: Easy Guide to the French Wines They are both part of LVMH group, the world leader in the luxury goods industry. Half-timbered houses – some with lurching walls and floors that aren’t quite level – line many streets in the old city, rebuilt after a devastating fire in 1524. Don’t expect anything luxurious, but it’s a comfortable option. The gently rolling landscape is at its most attractive in late summer and autumn. Taste Champagnes from different Maisons. Of course, visiting the famous brands might give you some bragging rights, but in the end, I enjoyed visiting the smaller producers more. Perhaps loveliest of all is the studio garden, particularly in spring to early summer when it bursts forth with tulips, anemones and roses. Living the centenary 14-18 . The house was created by Eugène Mercier in 1858. If you have a slightly bigger budget then check out Domaine du Chalet, which is a beautiful hotel with a pool and spa, within walking distance from several champagne houses. After that, go to some of the smaller, often family-run, champagne houses to see the difference. Some links on this website are affiliate links. Discover the Champagne-Ardenne region and … Visiting Champagne. Visit more, pay less! © 2021 Lonely Planet. Entdecken Sie Frankreich zwischen Tradition und Innovation! Champagne arouses the senses: the eyes feast on vines parading up hillsides and vertical processions of tiny, sparkling bubbles; the nose breathes in damp soil and the heavenly bouquet of fermentation; the ears rejoice at the clink of glasses and the barely audible fizz; and the palate tingles with every sip. Although the main things to do when visiting champagne are visiting champagne houses and tasting champagne, of course there are other things to do here as well. The Champagne region of France is a year-round destination, however, it is at its prettiest and best during the months of May to October when the vineyards are lush. This museum is so outstanding that it’s worth planning your day around a two-hour tour. Get information on Champagne Country Travel Guide - Expert Picks for your Vacation hotels, restaurants, entertainment, shopping, sightseeing, and activities. City Guides  |  Travel the World  |  Living Abroad  |  Travel Guides  |  Adventure Travel  |  Digital Nomad Life  | Valencia, Spain  |  California, USA  |  The Netherlands, I consent to the storage of my data according to the Privacy Policy, Contact: [email protected]      |      Like this article about visiting Champagne, France? If you choose to stay in Reims, Hotel Cecyl is a good budget hotel option with a very central location. Wine lovers visiting Paris often choose to take a day trip to Reims for Champagne tasting. Champagne Bollinger - Maison Fondée en 1829 Since 1829, Bollinger has been producing great champagnes with a powerful, sophisticated and complex style. ©Max Coquard - Best Jobers. Grand Est (Alsace, Champagne, Lorraine) Hauts de France ( Nord Pas-de-Calais – Picardie) Ile de France (Paris) Nouvelle Aquitaine (Aquitaine, Poitou-Charentes, Limousin) Normandie Occitanie (Midi-Pyrénées, Languedoc) Pays de la Loire Provence – Cote d’Azur. The fall harvest begins in late September and that’s when the champagne houses are at their busiest, both on the production side and the tourism side. As mentioned, if you don’t have a car and want to visit some of the smaller champagne producers you can book an organized tour. The Champagne region of France is less than 100 miles east of Paris and is made up of the Aube, Marne, Haute-Marne, and Ardennes departments. Find out more. And, if you book ahead you can book a champagne and chocolate pairing! The interior is a rainbow of stained-glass windows; the finest are the western facade’s great rose window, the north transept's rose window and the vivid Marc Chagall creations (1974) in the central axial chapel. Generally you pay a fee, which includes a tasting at the end of the tour for those of legal age to drink alcoholic beverages. France is the world’s top tourist destination for good reason. Visit the Champagne cellars. There's a lot packed into this country – artistic and architectural masterpieces,…. Fun things to do in Champagne The other option for a two-day trip would be to split your time between Reims and the nearby village of Épernay. Meet a wine grower, visit the Cathedral of Reims and a prestigious champagne cellar. Artikel, Fotos, Videos und Interviews über die wichtigsten Reiseziele, große Veranstaltungen, Ökotourismus, die französische Gastronomie, Weintourismus, Kultur und praktische Infos. The Champagne wine region is a wine region within the historical province of Champagne, located in the northeast of France. Explore. It’s the drink of choice for the most memorable moments in our lives…marriages, promotions, the passing into a new year. They offer a great tour showing you not only their cellars and vineyard but also all of the machinery they use. Epernay is where you go to visit the Avenue de Champagne. The museum can only be visited by tour; these are available in French and English. The Route du Champagne puts a world of champagne makers at your fingertips, one of which is right in the town: Joseph Perrier offers tours in its chalk caves and the chance to try and buy its distinguished cuvées. The Atelier Renoir has displays zooming in on the hallmarks of Renoir’s work (the female form, the vibrant use of colour and light), alongside original pieces such as his antiquated wheelchair and the box he used to carry his paintings to Paris. You’ll find famous champagne houses here to visit, but also museums, nightlife, etc. Created by, Moving to Spain as an American: What I Wish I Knew, Where to Live in Valencia: The Most Popular Neighborhoods, A full-day champagne tour to Moët et Chandon and a family-run winery, plus lunch. Of course, the most popular thing to do when visiting Champagne is taking tours of champagne houses and tasting a lot of champagne! It doesn’t have as many facilities as Reims, but it’s a great place to stay if you want to soak up that typical small-town French vibe for a few days. Côte des Bar . Tips for Driving Abroad for the First Time. Or for a high-end hotel check out La Villa Eugene, which is a beautiful 5-star hotel with a pool, set in a 19th-century mansion. It’s not the prettiest French city but it’s a convenient base and offers the most facilities. Some of the smaller, owner-operated champagne producers might be so busy with the harvest that their options for tours are limited around this time. Champagne Dom Caudron is a cooperation of small growers that offers tours. And then move on to some of the smaller champagne producers. The Romans planted vines in Champagne in 57BC but this was not initially an important wine area. Wine tourism (sometimes oenotourism or vinitourism) is specifically designed for people who want to explore wine regions and get to know the local wines. The impressive Mémorial Charles de Gaulle presents graphic, easily digestible exhibits, rich in photos, which form an admiring biography of France’s greatest modern statesman. Champagne was very much a symbol of victory and of defeat. The two most obvious places to stay when visiting Champagne are Reims and Epernay. My two favorite champagne tours were with Veuve Cliquot in Reims and Mercier in Epernay. Plus, they are quite unique in producing organic champagne! Or base yourself in the fortified city of Langres and take a tour of different artisan makers and craftspeople , from basket makers to jam makers. Whether you are a huge champagne fan or are just looking for an interesting part of France to visit, I would say visiting Champagne is well worth it! This way you have one day to visit a couple of the main champagne houses and one day to either drive to or go on an organized tour to visit some of the smaller houses in the countryside. Both have a train station and can therefore be reached relatively easily by public transport. September is harvest time and also one of the busiest time from the production side as well as for tourists. This zone makes the fullest bodied Champagnes, often intended to age. To help out anyone else who might be keen to explore the area, here are our do-it-yourself suggestions for visiting the Champagne region of France. Explore. The imagination and the intellect are engaged as Champagne cellar visits reveal the magical processes – governed by the strictest of rules – that transform the world’s most pampered pinot noir, pinot meunier and chardonnay grapes into this Unesco World Heritage–listed region’s most fabled wines. Assembled by a family that has been making Champagne since 1872, this extraordinary collection of century-old Champagne-making equipment includes objects so aesthetically ravishing that you’ll want to reach out and touch them. Our theme websites. Having visited this part of France several times myself, I’d like to share with you the main things you should know before visiting Champagne, to make the most of your trip. 15 Best Things to Do in Châlons-en-Champagne (France) You can guess from the name that this town is in the Champagne region . Bring a sweater, and wear comfortable shoes because you’ll walk a lot and the floors can be uneven. It had a huge success during the universal exhibition in 1889. Stops en route include Cramant (of giant Champagne bottle fame), Avize and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger. | Champagne arouses the senses: the eyes feast on vines parading up hillsides and vertical processions of tiny, sparkling bubbles; the nose breathes in damp soil and the heavenly bouquet of fermentation; the ears rejoice at the clink of glasses and the barely audible fizz; and the palate tingles with every sip. The site affords breathtaking, sublime views of the Haute-Marne countryside. And lastly, Pierson-Cuvelier also comes highly recommended. I would say you need two full days to experience the highlights of the Champagne region. This also gives you enough time to explore Reims or Epernay, soak up the French atmosphere, and enjoy the food. Pin it! Champagne has five main regions, or zones. But let's go back to the beginning and focus on the wine. A visit to the Champagne region of France is quite different compared to visiting any other wine region across the globe. Épernay’s handsome av de Champagne fizzes with maisons de champagne (Champagne houses). This is the beautiful street lined with some of the most famous champagne brands, or ‘champagne houses’ as they call them. Defined by a law dating from 1927, the area eligible to produce origin-approved (AOC) authentic champagne covers 34,000 hectares. This article about visiting the Champagne region contains affiliate links. The Alsatian Wine Route. But, if you have a car I would recommend staying outside of both, to be surrounded by vineyards and small champagne producers. Peek through wrought-iron gates at Moët’s private Hôtel Chandon, an early-19th-century pavilion-style residence set in landscaped gardens, which counts Wagner among its famous past guests. It does get cold by then though. Epernay is a cute French town. Hotel Dans Les Vignes is a good option, surrounded by vineyards and located right next to one of my favorite champagne houses, Bonnet-Ponson. (In France, the legal age to drink wine and beer is 16, for spirits and liquor it's 18.) Tiny bubbles, floral notes, crystal flutes—champagne is often front of mind for joyous, festive occasions; yet somehow Champagne (the region, not the … Come taste the king of wine and discover the gastronomy of the Champagne-Ardenne region . Taxis are surprisingly expensive so I would advise against that unless money is no issue. The focal point of such pomposity was Reims’ resplendent Gothic cathedral, begun in 1211 on a site occupied by churches since the 5th century. Events like these, which are held in several cities around the United States, are organized to spread a simple but powerful message. Mercier Champagne house is the second largest Champagne producer after Moët & Chandon and welcomes more than 100,000 visitors a year. The imagination and the intellect are engaged as Champagne cellar visits … The haunted-looking Château Perrier, a red-brick mansion built in 1854 in neo–Louis XIII style, is aptly placed at number 13! Champagne: 9 Reasons to Visit this Region in France This week, I had the unique opportunity to attend the Nuit de Champagne which took place at the Residence of France in Beverly Hills. If you are looking to avoid the crowds, November can also be a good month to visit the champagne region. The best way to understand the essence of this effervescent drink is by visiting houses and cellars of champagne producers in the region. Côte des Bar. With the Pass'Alsace, get free admission and loads of benefits at more than 50 iconic sites and places to visit. More information # Have a great time in Champagne Whether you are a city dweller, a couple or friends, there is something for every taste in Champagne . Author: Sanne WesselmanA traveler, wanderer, digital nomad, and entrepreneur. The town also makes an excellent base for exploring the Champagne Routes. Visit Champagne Region France . Prosperous Épernay, the self-proclaimed capitale du Champagne and home to many of the world’s most celebrated Champagne houses, is the best place for touring cellars and sampling bubbly. The best place for aimless ambling is the area bounded by (clockwise from the north) rue du Général de Gaulle, the Hôtel de Ville, rue Général Saussier and rue de la Pierre. All rights reserved. The first house to be established in Champagne, in 1729, is Maison Ruinart. Go ! Then you’ll have the rest of the day to enjoy the bubbles at a few of the top Champagne houses in Reims – the center of the Champagne world in France. if there is no legal age for consuming alcohol in your country, you must be an adult. This full-day tour includes a tour of the Veuve Clicquot Champagne estate, a visit to the UNESCO-listed Cathedral of Reims, a Champagne lunch, and Champagne tasting in the Montagne de Reims’ vineyards. Reims is the largest city in the region and Epernay is the town with the famous ‘Champagne Avenue’ (Avenue de Champagne). I have been lucky once or twice, walking into a champagne house and being able to join a tour immediately, but generally that doesn’t happen. We offer four ways of visiting the Champagne region for a day from Paris: Full day trip from Paris to Epernay Full day trip from Paris to Reims Self-guided trip to Moet and Chandon (Epernay) Self-guided trip to G.H. No part of this site may be reproduced without our written permission. In fact, the champagne hillsides, houses, and cellars are considered so special that they made in onto the UNESCO World Heritage List! Or, if you really want to splurge, check out Domaine les Crayeres, a luxury 5-star mansion on the edge of the city. Champagne prices are higher than at a simple vigneron, starting at €20.50 for the Brut Tradition. As you drive through France, I have been to many regions, you can noticeably see differences from weather to architecture. Many of the Champagne houses in Épernay, Reims, and the surrounding area offer guided visits of their caves and facilities. I hope all of this information helps you plan a perfect trip to the champagne region. Private virtual and interactive champagne experience € 100. In 1950 one such cellar – owned by the irrepressible Mercier family – hosted a car rally without the loss of a single bottle! Another popular one among the big names is Taittinger. One – Decide which Champagne houses you want to visit. Go ! This 100km route, planted almost exclusively with white chardonnay grapes (the name means ‘hillside of the whites’), begins along Épernay’s majestic av de Champagne and then heads south to Sézanne and beyond. Reims is the largest city in the region and Epernay is the town … The two most obvious places to stay when visiting Champagne are Reims and Epernay. Côte des … A half-day champagne tour, visiting 2 small producers. More information. It's set to open as a new Champagne museum in 2020. With the Reims City Pass, visit Reims and the Champagne vineyards in 24, 48 ou 72h and get free entries and discounts ! I want emails from Lonely Planet with travel and product information, promotions, advertisements, third-party offers, and surveys. Many champagne houses close for lunch and almost all close relatively early in the afternoon. More. This makes combining a visit to the Champagne region with a few days in Paris a perfect option! Displays help visitors untangle such complicated mid-20th-century events as the Algerian war and the creation of the Fifth Republic, and consider the ways in which De Gaulle’s years in power (1958–69) affected French culture, style and economic growth. Located due Northeast of Paris, this small region produces what may be considered the most renowned and recognizable wine in the world. The vineyards are divided into four large regions: Montagne de Reims, Vallée de la Marne, Côte des Blancs and the Côte des Bar. Lastly, L’Ecrin des Vignes is worth mentioning, which is a gorgeous 18th-century B&B in an idyllic setting. My favorite family-run champagne producer is Bonnet-Ponson. Mercier takes you on a train through their cellars, which is a fun experience! See also: Map of French Wine Regions Teens and children can often tour for a reduced price. Weekend in town . If you have a car you can drive into the countryside to visit these champagne houses yourself, but otherwise there are also organized tours you can join. Let's go ! It is easily accessible by car or train. But more about champagne houses later. That’s something to keep in mind if you want to visit smaller champagne houses. Inflicting misery on Champagne was seen as weakening the resolve and morale of France. Tip: the champagne tours take you through the cellars, which are quite cool. Of special interest are (from southwest to northeast) rue de Vauluisant, rue de la Trinité, rue Champeaux and rue Paillot de Montabert. Below: The Comité Champagne invites you to discover each of the five main Champagne production areas, where Champagne Growers and Champagne Houses are eager to welcome you.. Audioguides are available. Get even more ideas and inspiration from our dedicated websites, so you can have the Alsatian experience that suits you best! Reims is the perfect place to stay if you are looking for a more lively location with more things to do. One full day with Paris Champagne Tour to visit the Champagne countryside and vineyard. About Paris Champagne Tour. I can unsubscribe any time using the unsubscribe link at the end of all emails. Things to Know Before Visiting Champagne, France Where to Stay When Visiting the Champagne Region. The boulevard is lined with mansions and neoclassical villas, rebuilt after WWI. I would recommend to start with visiting some of the main, world-famous Champagne houses. Reims is the Champagne capital of France and there’s no better place to sample the world’s finest Champagne. There is an €8 charge for the tour, but it is worth it. Their tour is one of the best organized and most insightful ones. Paris, France. Owner of marketing company A to Z Marketing. Read more. Two champagne wine tasting sessions. It’s a great way to get away from it all, enjoying the beautiful sights this region has to offer. Côte de Sézanne. Champagne Tours from Paris can be booked in advance. A modern tasting room and wine shop in Reims is a strong step in the right direction, initiated by grower Angéline Templier (of J Lassalle). 2) Visit Champagne distilleries The big attraction in Champagne is of course the world-famous houses of champagne. Tip: depending on traffic or which public transport you take, it takes only around one to two hours to get to Reims or Epernay from Paris. Champagne …the word itself conjures up images of effervescence, luxury and celebration! It’s a medium-sized champagne producer in a beautiful setting and with good tours. Imagine the extravagance of a French royal coronation. Let's go ! They offer well-organized tours of their cellars and tastings of several of their champagnes. to visit this site you must be of legal drinking age in your country of residence. There is a small airport at Reims (Reims-Champagne Airport) and another in Troyes, and both cities have rail access. I highly recommend booking any cellar tours ahead of time. Explore the cities and villages in the Champagne-Ardenne region: Reims, Troyes, Charleville-Mezieres, Chalons-en-Champagne, Langres and Sedan. Getting there via train is actually very easy and quick. Maison de l’Outil et de la Pensée Ouvrière, First-time France: where to go and what to do. For a more high-end hotel option in Reims Les Berceaux de la Cathedrale is a gorgeous place right in the city center. A massive number of choices make this step easier said than done. Aoc ) authentic Champagne covers 34,000 hectares as they call them enough time to explore the cities and villages the! A small airport at Reims ( Reims-Champagne airport ) and another in Troyes, and enjoy food! Producers, the area eligible to produce origin-approved ( AOC ) authentic Champagne covers 34,000 hectares these... 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